The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


A Little Treat For Any Aussie Who Comes By This Blog …
January 30, 2008, 7:09 am
Filed under: Comment

Did you like that?

Had a good giggle?

That’s good because I counteract with this …

Got to go, got a darts match to play in. :)



Confessions Of A Kitty Cat Killer …
January 29, 2008, 6:30 pm
Filed under: Comment

Kit-Kat Confussion!

So in a moment of madness, our favourite little menace – Emah – gave me a chocolate.

As I was chomping, she gave me another and said I should give it to Rosie.

Immediately my face changed from joy to confusion and I asked …

 “Don’t you know chocolate kills cats?”

Emah looked up at me with her lovely brown eyes and sniffed … 

“That must be why my cat died because I kept feeding it KitKats”

I know I shouldn’t of laughed … I tried really hard not to … but I just couldn’t help it.

Thank God this all happened years ago or she’d never talk to me again and then who would I get to do all my work :)



Bob A Job? No Thanks, He’s Already Got One.
January 29, 2008, 4:22 pm
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Danesford School c1968 - Alan Rodgers Bob A Job Week, Job Done Card 001

Last week I wrote about Mr M’s good news… but now it’s official. Hurrah!

Well done mate, I – and everyone else here - are so happy for you.

Right, onwards and upwards – expect the stopbrownfromhavingafrown.wordpress.com petition very, very soon …

[Even though it’s not up yet, the blogs registered, so don’t try any funny business!]



Best Justification For ‘Can You Spare Some Change’ Ever?
January 29, 2008, 7:19 am
Filed under: Comment

I Gave Him a Dollar For Being Original

With ideas like that, this bloke should be in advertising.

What about it TBWA?

Hell, it’s more disruptive than some of the stuff you’ve been producing lately! :)



About As Subtle As A Brick Down A Pair Of Cycling Shorts …
January 29, 2008, 7:15 am
Filed under: Comment

So you’re just about to go into the cinema when you think you should get a drink incase you become thirsty.

“Can I have a bottle of water please” you say to the nice assistant.

“$1.50″ they reply.

So far, so good – just the usual customer/retailer conversation – then you get handed this …

23/01/2008

Yep … a bottle of water with a fucking sticker on it that proudly states, COMPLIMENTARY FROM CAPITAL CARD.

Now it’s one thing to flog stock you got for free – but it’s another thing altogether when you don’t even attempt to hide your deviousness from the customer.

I’m sure Capital Card wouldn’t be too happy to know their brand is being used in this way – however In one simple transaction, a couple of classic Asian traits came to the fore … waste not want not and if you can get away with it, make money out of it.

Unexpected items

To be honest, my favourite embodiment of these traits is what is known in Asia as a ‘Thieves Market’.

Basically these are little street fairs that specialise in selling ‘odds and ends’ … with emphasis on the odd!

Every stall sells things like a single shoe or an obviously fake watch or a bunch of old magazines or some fake DVD’s or a set of 3 cracked egg cups or a cracked vase or a 1980′s LaserDisc player or a broken lamp or … well you get the picture.

Every Sunday, we have one of these markets near our house, and I have to be honest I love going around them because in this World of image and illusion, there’s something really lovely about being able to buy a single sock. But then as I wrote in a post a couple of weeks ago, single socks have multiple uses.



Advertising Has Always Been Ageist, But This Is Ridiculous …
January 28, 2008, 7:01 am
Filed under: Comment

So we got sent this book by the direct marketing company, Wunderman.

11/01/2008 [My beautiful assistant, Hari]

Despite me having abit of a love/hate relationship with DM companies, I have alot of time for Wunderman. Actually, let me be more specific – I have alot of time for Lester Wunderman, their brilliant founder.

This man literally created the discipline of direct marketing and even though technology and society has dramatically changed over the years – he’s still as sharp as a tack.

I’ve had the great pleasure of dining with Lester and despite him having nothing to prove, I found him to be one of the most genuine, warm, inquisitive and intelligent people I’ve ever met. 

So what has this got to do with the book I received from Wunderman?

Well it’s because it kills me that a company that was created by a genuine communication visionary has now devolved into some middle-of-the-road, mass-generalising, skills-by-acquisition, emotion-free-process slab of blandom.

Yes, I know Wunderman are hugely successful … yes, I know they have some fantastic people … yes, I know they’ve done [and do] some great work … yes, I know they have a wealth of case studies … however it seems [at least to me] that ever since Lester stopped being an integral part of the organisation, they are quite comfortable putting out statements that are bordering on corporate suicide.

I wrote about one of their previous two-feet-in-one-mouth episodes a while back – but for those who didn’t see it, one of their senior executives announced [and I paraphrase

‘Data simply tells you what consumers did in the past, it doesn’t necessarily reflect what they will do in the future’.

Holy mother of god, what a discovery. That’s right up there with gravity, DNA and instant mash … except it isn’t, is it? It’s called stating the bleedin’ obvious and quite frankly, the originator of that declaration, David Sable, should be hanging his head in shame.

Mind you, at least what he said was true [ignoring the fact he didn’t then talk about how the real power is when you understand WHY people did what they did] what Wunderman has come out with now is so generalising, that it makes a mockery of the whole ‘one-to-one’ marketing discipline.

Have a look at this …

So Wunderman are saying that if you were born in the 1970′s – meaning between twenty nine and thirty seven years ago – you are pretty much a technological snail.

Interesting …

OK, so I was born in 1970 so a statement like that will immediately rile me up as it reminds me I not a spring-chicken, but infact a boring old fart … however even though on first impressions a general statement like “People Born in the 1970′s Don’t Understand Technology As Fast As Young People” seems fair enough, I would still say it has fundamental flaws.

First issue is what is a ‘young person’? 

2 years of age?

5 years of age?

9 years of age?

15 years of age?

Maybe I’m full of piss and vinegar but I reckon in a head-to-head competition, I could take some 3 year old in a race to buy a book on Amazon, so just who are they comparing me too?

[And there’s no need to tell me a young child wouldn’t have a credit card – I know – I was just using that to demonstrate my point. Mind you, given banks desperation for ever increasing profits …?]

Then I want to know what they mean when they say UNDERSTAND technology? 

Are they talking about ‘how it works’ or ‘how to use it’?  

There’s obviously a massive difference between those two interpretations so I wish Wunderman clarified what they meant – however if it is the latter definition, I’ll call them on it.

You see, while people born from 1990 live lives that are seamlessly integrated with technology, people of my era have had such a long time to adapt to the changing landscape that for all intents and purposes, I’d say [in most cases] we are as adept at using technology as any laptop bashing 6 year old.

Sure our reactions might not be as quick – especially when you compare them to a coke-addled, Red Bull guzzling, ADD suffering 15 year old – but that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to use the same technology.

Oooooh I’m pumped up now ….

La Tumba de Steve Jobs 

Right, what about the issue that that most of the technology we use was/is designed and created by people who probably fall into the 29-37 age group. 

Apart from the fact that means they influence how the masses tend to use technology, doesn’t it also mean they are rather up-to-date with what’s going on?

Let me tell you, when Bazz takes his big job next to Steve Jobs, I’m going to make sure he advises the guru of Apple to step down because at 53, he is obviously past it.

And last – but by no means least - given Wunderman are obviously trying to position themselves as the God’s of Digital, I wonder what percentage of their staff were born after 1980? 

For their sake I hope it’s the majority because by their reckoning, anyone born before that year is a techno luddite and as such, no use to a digital comms company whatsoever.

[Lets ignore the fact Wunderman started in 1958, their CEO is around 57 years of age and their website looks like this]

Now whilst some of what I’ve said can be disputed, what I’ve hopefully done is demonstrate how their statement has some fundamental flaws – and if I were Wunderman, I’d be be worried about that.

Not because some bald bastard is having a go at them … god no … but because coming out with a sweeping statement like that undermines your claim to being an expert in one-to-one marketing.

Personally, I think segmenting societies technological capabilities by age is daft.

Whilst I appreciate that the older you are, the harder it might be to ‘grasp’ new techniques and/or technologies … that doesn’t mean [1] they won’t get it [2] they won’t want to get it [3] they won’t embrace it

Infact I could argue that the older you are, the more you embrace new technologies [as long as you’ve been shown how to use them and why they’re beneficial] because suddenly things become more exciting to use/do.

At the end of the day, technological understanding / desire / usage is about mindset rather than age – and whilst it might be more convenient for organisations to think this way, because it helps plan their marketing programs, what they are actually doing is ‘dumbing down’ their audience to such a degree that it is more likely to offend than motivate.

This is especially offensive when the organisation doing the ‘dumbing down’ is one who is supposedly obsessed with developing one-to-one relationships.

Last week I wrote about the dangers of mass generalisation … maybe the powers-that-be at Wunderman should watch it and then take some of their own medicine.



Why Advertising And Media Needs To Stop Generalising …
January 25, 2008, 7:24 am
Filed under: Comment

Both Charles and I are huge fans of the book, Economic Hitman, so if this clip made an impression on you, I suggest you check it out … it explains alot and none of it is good.

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